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Growing Independence and Fluency

Bekah Stockton


 Rationale:  In order for a child to be a fluent reader they must be able to read a passage faster and effortlessly.  In order for children to decode sentences and unknown words, it is essential to have phonemic awareness.  Rereading a passage several times helps the students to read faster and smoother.  This lesson is to help children to learn to read faster and decode unknown or difficult words.  This lesson also lets children work cooperatively with partners. 

 Materials:  A New Friend (multiple copies), big palm tree, die-cut monkeys for each student, stopwatches, tape and markers.


 1. Today boys and girls we are going to talk about how to read faster.  I’m going to read a sentence and I want you to listen close and when I finish reading I want you to raise your hand and tell me if you know what I said.  Okay?  (Read sentence choppy and slowly: I ran to my best friends house).  Did anyone understand what I said?  (Wait for any response).  That is right; it was kind of hard to understand me.  Well that is what happens when you do not read fluently.  Can anyone tell me what the word fluent means?  (Wait for response).  Good Job! Fluent means reading faster and smoother and whenever you read slowly like I just did, it is hard to understand what the sentence said, right?  Good.  Now I’m going to read the sentence faster and smoother this time, and I want you to tell me if it sounds better.  (Reread the sentence).  Doesn’t that sound better?  Great.  That is what is should sound like when you read fluently.  It is easier to understand what you are reading when you read fluently.

 2.  Now I want you to practice reading faster.  (Pass out a die-cut monkey for everyone)  Everyone, this is your speed monkey, and what I want you to do is get with a partner and we are going to read the book A New Friend. Jane and Dean are best friends that do everything together. Jane gets a puppy and starts to play with it all the time. Let’s read and see how Dean reacts.  Each group will have a copy of the book.  I am going to pass out stopwatches; you will take turns being the timer.  The timer’s job is to time the other person for one minute.  The timer needs to tell the reader when he or she has read for one minute.  The reader will count the number of words they read.  When you have that number, write it down on a piece of paper.  Do this 4 times each.  Then I want you write your best number out of four on your monkey with the marker.  We are then going to attach it to our palm tree.  We are going to see how fluent you are reading by using the formula correct words times 60 divided by seconds. We are going to practice with this every week and see if you are reading more fluently.  We are going to continue to move your monkey up the palm tree where there are bananas waiting.  I want you do your best reading, do not try to hurry through or compete with your partner.  If you get stuck on a word, try covering-up part of the word or reading the rest of the sentence.  If that does not work ask your partner for help.  Does everyone understand how this is going to work?  Great, then let’s begin

 3.  Just a quick second before we begin, I want to make sure everyone knows how to use a stopwatch.  (I will model how to use the stopwatch and how to do cover-ups and chunking words.)  First, I want everyone to find the start/stop button.  This button lets you restart the timer.  Press this button when you are ready to begin and stop after one minute.  For cover-ups, you first isolate the vowel while covering up the first and last part of the word.  Once you have the vowel, uncover the first part and then the last part of the word.  Let children get with their partners and begin.  I will walk around the room making sure they are on task and doing the lesson correctly. 

 Assessment:  For assessment have each child come for a fluency conference.  Ask each child to read for one minute while you do a running record.  This will give you an idea of any missing correspondences or still having trouble with fluency.  Count the number of words they read and see if it is remotely close to the speed monkey number on the palm tree. 

References: A New Friend: http://teachersites.schoolworld.com/webpages/hultenius/fluency.cfm

Out of Sight by Misti Clifton http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/insp/cliftongf.html


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